I was never one to listen very closely during my school years in history class. For the most part I believed if I listened just enough to pass the class, which was good enough for me.
Of course as the years have passed I have come to realize my way of learning when younger meant history facts did not stick with me. I find myself now that I am older yearning to learn the reasons behind many significant celebrated dates throughout the year.
With Veteran’s Day nearing, I decided to research the history behind the date. Veterans Day is always recognized on November 11 every year. What is the significance with that date?
As I began my research, which included history knowledge I am sure I was taught in junior high, I was reminded of World War I ending on November 11, 1918. The eleventh month on the eleventh date at the eleventh hour the war, which had lasted just over four years finally concluded.
On November 11, 1919 the first anniversary to the ending of WWI was originated as Armistice Day. Armistice being declared on the date the previous year when an agreement was signed by opposing sides in a war to stop fighting.
On this date, November 11, Armistice Day became an official holiday in the United States in 1926. Twelve years later this became a national holiday.
On June 1, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the legislation striking the word “Armistice” in favor of “Veterans” to honor all U.S. Veterans. From this date on, November 11 would be forever recognized as Veterans Day, the day to honor all persons who served in the United States Armed Forces.
As we look to commemorate the 100th Anniversary to the end of WWI, I wanted to dig deeper into what the poppy flower symbolizes for veterans. While the practice of wearing a poppy is traditionally done on Memorial Day, not on Veteran’s Day, the popularity of the red poppy began to honor soldiers killed in battle.
In the spring of 1915 a Canadian doctor, after losing a friend, spotted the sight of poppies growing in a battle-scarred field. The sight inspired him to write a now famous poem called “In Flanders Fields”. After the end of WWI, the poppy was adopted as a symbol of remembrance.
The poppies hold great significance to the lives lost during the war. The red represents the blood of those who gave their lives. The black color representing the mourning of those who’s loved ones didn’t return home. The green leaves representing the grass and crops that grow with prosperity after the war did much destruction.
Local Veteran’s Day happenings include a Veteran’s Day dinner for all veterans and dependents a the Corydon American Legion Hall on Friday, Nov. 9 with social time beginning at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 6 p.m. This will be a potluck style meal where dinner guests may bring their special side dish and/or desert with meat being provided by Hormell Foods, Moravia Meat Locker and Moulton Locker. A short program will follow dinner.
Wayne Community School District will be holding a Veteran’s Day Tribute on Monday, Nov. 12.